Black Box Series Premiere Review “Kiss the Sky”

Black Box (ABC) Series Premiere Kiss the Sky (10)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s another television show where the lead is successfully able to hide their medical condition from work! Seriously, none of the doctors who work with Catherine Black have realized what she’s hiding? I imagine a brilliant neuroscientist like herself would want to work with other bright doctors, and yet all of them are oblivious. Well, I guess if Carrie Mathison can fool the CIA for a season on Homeland

Unlike Homeland though, Black Box doesn’t have the compelling story to make you forget about that detail. Kelly Reilly does the best with what she’s given, but this is not a project that lives up to her potential. After playing second fiddle in Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice and in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes she had a chance to shine in Robert Zemeckis’ Flight. Here she’s surrounded by a supporting cast that makes no mark save Vanessa Redgrave as Catherine’s psychiatrist and Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) as Catherine’s sister in law, Regan. Catherine’s fiancé, Will (David Ajala), is both dull and way too good for her, and fellow doctor, Ian Bickman (Ditch Davey- what a name), is a brilliant cad. Mentor Dr. Owen Morley (Terry Kinney) made no impression and co-worker Dr. Ina Lark (Ali Wong) is another stereotypical girl who works in the lab.

The show is all Reilly which could be its strength and weakness. She does fine work in portraying Catherine’s condition, yet I didn’t empathize with her at all. I blame this more on the story than Reilly. There’s no levity to shake things up. One reason that House worked so well was balancing Hugh Laurie’s curmudgeonly doctor with a witty, dry sense of humor. Black Box, on the other hand, plays it so serious that many of the moments come off as ridiculous. The pieces are here with Reilly- unfortunately most of them aren’t connecting.

Finally, is Thursday ABC’s pun night? First Grey’s Anatomy and now Black Box. Oy vey.